While top Catholic colleges and universities like Notre Dame, Marquette, Loyola, and DePaul hire faculty from secular universities, such institutions make no pretense of offering their graduate students a formation in Catholic thought.
To counteract this trend, the Lumen Christi Institute has developed summer seminars that offer small, select groups of graduate students and junior faculty from leading research universities across the country a formation in a specific area of the Catholic Intellectual Tradition.
From June 25th to 29th, Candace Vogler (David B. and Clara E. Stern Professor in the College at the University of Chicago), Fr. Kevin Flannery, S.J. (Ordinary Professor of the History of Ancient Philosophy at the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome), Fr. Stephen Brock (Professor of Medieval Philosophy at the Pontifical University of the Holy Cross in Rome), and Anselm Mueller (Professor Emeritus at the University of Trier), led a seminar titled “Practical Knowledge and Practical Wisdom: Aristotle, Aquinas, and Anscombe” (Elizabeth Anscombe is a twentieth-century Catholic analytic philosopher) at the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome.
Later in the summer, from August 6th to 12th, Russell Hittinger (Warren Chair of Catholic Studies at the University of Tulsa and co-chair of LCI’s Program in Catholic Social Thought) led a seminar on Thomas Aquinas’ influential Treatise on Law in Berkeley, California.
A PhD student in philosophy at Rice University who attended the seminar in Berkeley praised the Institute for helping prepare him to engage Catholic thought as an educator: “Though I was exposed to some of these texts as an undergrad,” he wrote, “it is very different to engage them again at this level with professional teaching and research intents in mind. I feel I have the kind of grounding that would allow me to teach this material to undergraduates and to help me continue learning on my own.”
He further added: “I think I can say that part of what makes for this success is that very few secular institutions have scholars who are engaging with these texts directly; at times, I’ve been surprised of how little some of the faculty know about these texts at all. I applaud the Institute for harnessing the talents of leading scholars to help future scholars.”